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Travails of a Non-Swimmer

Body Rotation Drills

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After four days of a miserable, pool-less existence I was finally able to hit the pool at the gym tonight.

A Great Relief

It’s such a relief to be in the water again. I gingerly tried floating on my back, wondering if I had forgotten how. Thankfully, like learning to ride a bicycle, once you learn it the skill seems to stick around. Whew!

Half of the 25m pool was being used for night swimming classes and the other half for gym members like me just wanting to get a dip. But the pool was crowded tonight—it was somewhat hard to do the drills because I had to share the lane with up to four people.

The gym’s swimming school still uses the traditional method of teaching beginners mainly with a kickboard, so I know I look strange when doing TI drills. But I truly hate the kickboard so instead I’m trying to find balance and movement the TI way: from my core.

Do It Until You Get It

After two hours of drilling, I am still stuck with the first rotation drills of both freestyle and backstroke. I just can’t do them without ruining my head-spine alignment. It should take a couple of seconds to flip from a face down position to a back float but alas, it takes me forever.

This made me quite dejected, but my husband kindly said, “Two weeks ago you couldn’t even float on your back. Now you are able to float whenever you want for as long as you want. That’s progress.”

He added, “It just so happens that it’s taking you a long time to learn swimming. But you’ll learn eventually. You just have to hang in there.”

“Thanks,” I replied, appreciating his attempt to encourage me. “But that means it’ll take me years and years to learn which means years and years of paying swimming school fees…”

We eventually agreed that since I’ll be spending our money on swimming he could also spend on his hobby, astronomy. Sounds fair to me! :)

Oh Fantasies!

Despite my lack of overall progress, I find that I really enjoy being in the water. Right now there’s me fantasizing of a private pool at home, even if it’s just an endless pool or over-sized bathtub :)

Intex 54979EG 24-Foot by 12-Foot by 52-Inch Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool

Notes to Self: Do

  • Rotate with your entire body in alignment, not shoulders-then-hips-then-legs kind of rotation.
  • Remember to rotate with your body first and then your head when going up for air.
  • Remember to rotate with your body and head at the same time when returning face into the water.
  • Relax your legs when floating. They’re sinky because you’re clenching them. Stop!

Notes to Self: Don’t

  • Tense your neck and shoulder muscles when rotating. It doesn’t help! It makes you sink!
  • Use your hands to push on your hips to rotate. That just negates the concept of body rotation.
  • Clench your shoulders when rotating your core in the backstroke drill. Relax, relax, relax!
  • Point your chin high up to the ceiling. As long as your head is horizontal with ears in the water you won’t sink.


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